New car share company aiming to launch in Calgary in the spring
CALGARY -- Quebec-based car share company Communauto has its sights set on Calgary’s streets and it could make the move into the city by spring.
Communauto, which launched in 1994 and is operating in 13 Canadian cities and in Paris, has been eyeing Calgary since Car2Go exited the city in October. Car2Go cited a ‘highly volatile’ transportation market when it announced it would leave Calgary and several other North American cities in September.
“We really felt the impact of the loss of Car2Go and I know a lot of Calgarians are hoping to see another car share company come to the city,” said councillor Druh Farrell.
Officials with Communauto were at Calgary’s transportation and transit committee meeting Wednesday, when councillors recommended changes to the city’s car share parking policy.
Among the proposed changes is a tiered pricing structure for car share companies and a relaxation in parking time limits.
There’s also a provision to reduce parking fees by 50 per cent for car share companies using fully electric vehicles. Communauto boasts it has the largest electric car share fleet in the country.
“Our goal is to build a sustainable local mobility service that compliments collective transportation and active mobility,” said Marco Viviani, the vice-president of the Communauto group.
“The cars are meant to complement other transportation options in the city,” he told the committee.
Viviani said the company hasn’t yet determined how many cars they will start out with in Calgary, but Toronto’s launch included 200 vehicles. He added it isn’t likely the company will have any fully electric cars when it first comes to Calgary.
The city issued a press release Wednesday afternoon, describing the proposed tiered pricing structure as a "win-win" for both city administration and for city residents.
"Overall our policies are well set up to support carsharing in Calgary," said the city's senior transportation engineer Eric McNaughton. "Based on discussions with other cities and several carshare companies, we have identified several adjustments that ensure we are keeping up with best practices.
The committee’s recommendations will still have to be approved by council in February.